Authentic Irish Lamb Stew

Irish lamb stew

The Spruce

  • Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
911 Calories
52g Fat
37g Carbs
68g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 911
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 52g 67%
Saturated Fat 22g 108%
Cholesterol 233mg 78%
Sodium 889mg 39%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Protein 68g
Calcium 123mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you conjure up Ireland, you likely think of sloping thatched-roof houses with gardens in front and huge fireplaces inside where its owners take refuge from Ireland's frequent rain.

On the table, by the fire, you would often find true Irish stew, a regular meal of common people. It's always made with lamb, onions, and potatoes (of course), no questions asked. After that, variations abound. Most people add carrots, and it's not unusual to also find parsnips, peas, turnips, and/or celery.

In this recipe which appears in The Frugal Gourmet on Our Immigrant Ancestors by Jeff Smith, onions, carrots, and potatoes round out the hearty dish.


Click Play to See This Authentic Irish Lamb Stew Recipe Come Together


  • 1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, diced
  • 6 pounds lamb, boneless shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cups beef stock, homemade or canned
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large onions, yellow, peeled and sliced
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Garnish: parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Irish Lamb Stew Ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Sauté the bacon in a large frying pan. Reserve the fat and the bacon.

    Cooking bacon
    The Spruce
  3. Place the lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat the meat evenly.

    Flouring lamb
    The Spruce
  4. Reheat the frying pan. In batches, brown the lamb in the reserved bacon fat. If you run out of fat, use a little oil.

    Browned lamb
     The Spruce
  5. Transfer the browned meat to a 10-quart stovetop casserole, leaving about 1/4 cup of fat in the frying pan.

    Browned lamb
    The Spruce
  6. Add the garlic and 1 chopped yellow onion to the pan and sauté until the onion begins to color a bit.

    Sautéing onion
     The Spruce
  7. Add the garlic-onion mixture to the casserole, along with the reserved bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar.

    Authentic Irish Lamb Stew
    The Spruce
  8. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.

    Authentic Irish Lamb Stew
    The Spruce
  9. Add the carrots, the 2 sliced onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaf, and wine to the pot and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

    Authentic Irish Lamb Stew
    The Spruce
  10. Check for salt and pepper before serving and add if needed.

  11. Top with the parsley garnish before serving.

    Authentic Irish Lamb Stew Recipe
     The Spruce
  12. Enjoy!


  • Make this stew the day before, as it is even better reheated. The flavors have time to blend together more and result in a more flavorful dish.


Serve this Irish stew with Irish soda bread if you have time for a bit of extra cooking. If not, serve up hearty bread like sourdough or artisan for a harmonious texture with the stew.